On 11 February 2019 I set myself the challenge of reading 1001 Songs You Must Hear Before You Die by Robert Dimery (ed.) and following the book’s advice to the letter. I’ve previously read 1001 Films… and started 1001 Albums… but felt 1001 Songs… would be a sensible place to start for what I have in mind here.
My challenge is to read about one song per day and listen to it (YouTube and Spotify, I need you tonight!) before sharing my own thoughts. Some songs I will love, others I’ll hate, and I’m sure there will be those that leave me perplexed but listen to them I shall.
I’ll also try, and most likely fail, to pinpoint the best song from the 1001 on offer but I’m nothing if not foolhardy. Instead of one song, I’m predicting I’ll have about 100 favourites by the end and may have to resort to a Top 10 so far to maintain any semblance of sanity.
So long as I post every day (including Christmas) then this challenge should come to an end on Wednesday 8 November 2021. Staying with the Barney Stinson theme I am hoping that the whole experience will prove to be… legendary!
Sigur Ros – Hoppípolla (2005)
” Hoppípolla” ( pronounced [ˈhɔʰpiˌpʰɔtl̥a]) is a song by Icelandic post-rock band Sigur Rós from their 2005 album . It was released as the album’s second single on 28 November 2005.
It’s the end of 2005, dear reader, and to celebrate the completion of another leg of our musical odyssey, we are leaving the US and making our way to Iceland. We have been here before though I recall not very often on our list. Founded in 1994, Sigur Ros delve into both post and art rock, bringing with them a truly unique sound that has wowed critics and fans alike. We join them in 2005 with the release of their fourth album, Takk…, and from there 1001 Songs have lifted the track, Hoppípolla.
Hoppípolla translates as hopping into puddles and is sung mostly in Icelandic with lead singer, Jonsi, using Hopelandic, a made up language essentially gibberish, on occasion. The lyrics focus on that title image of hopping into puddles and how such an action is done without boots. This has strong resonance of childhood days when the rain is heavy, you don your raincoat and wellingtons and jump into puddles, laughing at the cascade of water created upon impact. There is a childlike simplicity to the feel of Hoppípolla, it is purity and innocence encompassed within its words and the music.
I have listened to and enjoyed Takk… previously and it was a pleasure to be able to revisit Hoppípolla. This is the group’s best known song and opens with a gorgeous melody before Jonsi’s distant and evocative singing comes through. I do not speak Icelandic so have never burrowed down into the song’s meaning before but when a track sounds as good as this you really don’t need a translation. The group continue to perform though have had lineup changes and their most recent album was back in 2013.
Favourite songs so far: